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The N200 Airtime Recharge Poor Index

Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai

Call this secondary data: if you recharge your phone monthly by less than N200, you are poor and qualify for Kaduna state goodies. You cannot argue over that call. Yes, just like that, Kaduna state has invented a new index - N200 (about $0.50) Airtime Recharge Poor Index. This is what happens when there is no reliable data to know who is poor and who is rich. You vote on this one because if MTN, Glo, Airtel and 9Mobile play along, the state will be closer.

The Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has said the distribution of relief packages in the state for the month of May, would be targeted at people who recharge their phones with less than N200 airtime a month.

Mr El-Rufai, who spoke Saturday on The Platform on Channels TV, said coronavirus-impact aid for the month would be worth N2 billion.

This fund, he said, was sourced from private donors and a 50 per cent pay cut imposed on top political appointees and senior civil servants in the state.

“We have obtained data of the people in Kaduna State using their phone recharge purchase records,” he said. “So we believed that anybody that spends less than N200 per month on buying recharge cards on his phone is poor and will need this food for intervention.”

If not for any other reason, the Coronavirus should just leave Nigeria on the grounds that its continuous presence here can only make our fiscally irresponsible managers worse. The bigger threat may never come from the virus itself, but from the very people who would wreck havoc in the name of protecting you or helping you to survive hardship.

The political heads have all become supreme rulers, with absolute powers; all laws are now suspended, and no one questions what they do anymore! The level of absurdity is becoming legendary.

Just come up with any bizarre metric to define who's poor, and you are good to go! After all, who's wicked or vile enough to stop the 'poor' from benefiting from government's assistance?

Well, there are lots of people with plenty money but barely recharge their phone lines, but never lacked airtime in them.

Another governor can still come up with, if you do not have a smartphone, then you must be poor, because only poor people are without smartphones.

The evil men do...